Hi! My name is Jennifer Foley and I was born and raised in Deep River, Ontario. I attended Nipissing University and along with graduating with a BA and BEd, I also started my lifelong journey to try to see as much of the world as I can! During my undergrad, I volunteered in Nicaragua, and during my bachelor of education I was lucky enough to be accepted into a competitive international placement in Kenya…Finally getting to Africa after wanting to go since I was 11! After graduating I saved and saved and travelled some more, and eventually ended up in South Korea teaching kindergarten for 2 years.
Shortly after I came back to Deep River (and one or two trips later!) I discovered the djembe: a traditional West-African hand drum. I completely fell in love with this incredible instrument and the culture behind it. A few months after our relationship began, I was in Guinea and in way over my head learning alongside professionals, but loving every minute! I learned an incredible amount playing up to 6hrs/day, and since then I have continued to study with the amazing Catherine Veilleux in Gatineau and have had the opportunity to take workshops with many masters from Guinea, including grand master Mamady Keita.
I have taught private, semi-private and group lessons, as well as workshops at Deep River’s Art Camp and at schools and workplaces in the Deep River area.
My goal is to combine my love for teaching and music to bring the joy of the djembe to as many people as I can here in Deep River and in the surrounding area….and anywhere else people want to learn! The healing power of this drum is incredible. I think Mamady Keita describes the djembe the best:
The djembe is a drum that speaks a language. What the djembe is speaking is a message of love, togetherness and peace.
The djembe does not see colour, race or gender. What the djembe sees is our hearts.
The djembe is an instrument that teaches us. What the djembe teaches us is about ourselves.
If we all thought like the djembe, then we would not have so much trouble in the world.
What else can I say?
Ni kan tiyen, sewa tiyen. Ni sewa tiyen, kan tiyen.
Without music, there is no joy. Without joy, there is no music.